For quite awhile now, I have been following The Frugal Girl, both on facebook and as a subscriber to her blog. Every week she posts a recipe. A friend of mine mentioned quite awhile ago to me that she had made her homemade granola bars and really liked them. Last week I sent her another homemade granola bar recipe and she again reminded me how much she enjoyed The Frugal Girl's version. I checked it out, saw that I had all of the ingredients, and decided to give it a try.
In a bowl, combine 2 cups rolled oats (not instant),
1 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Stir this all up.
In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup veg oil, 1/2 cup honey, 1 egg and 2 tsps vanilla extract.
Stir that all up...you could use beaters, I just used a whisk.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients
And mix well.
Spoon the granola mixture into a greased 9x11 pan.
(Enter trusty sidekick #2)
Now, this is where The Frugal Girl's healthy recipe ends, and my "not so healthy" recipe begins ;) My friend told me she adds sprinkles to hers and I knew my kids would love that too.
Bake them at 350 F for 15 mins. (The Frugal Girl recommends 15-18 mins, I took them out at 15) When they came out they still felt quite soft, but we prefer our granola bars chewy so I left them. They hardened a bit as they cooled, but were still soft and chewy, which in our case was a good thing.
Once completely cooled, I brought out our homemade cinnamon bun icing...
taught Makenna how to pipe it, although she didn't have much luck...
So I took over and drizzled some icing over the top.
Finally, we got to try a piece.
I gotta tell ya: These are fantastic. All 4 of us love them. I found them to be more cakey than granola bar-ey, but that was O-kay. If you bake them a bit longer they would be firmer, like store bought granola bars. These that we made reminded me of those "Oatmeal to Go" squares.
So so so good. Makenna actually said she wanted these for her birthday instead of a cake. Jack asked frequently if he could have another "Noga Bar".
These will absolutely be a staple in our house from now on and it would be easy to add in some dried cranberries or other dried fruit, raisins (not in this house though), nuts, or any variety of different ingredients to mix it up a bit. I like this flavour combination too and think it would be easy to just substitute in the molasses and ginger for the honey. The overall process detailed on that site seems much more complicated than it needs to be, considering how well these ones worked out but I do like the different flavour ideas. The icing we used was a nice, indulgent touch, but certainly not necessary - they would still be fantastic without it.
2 thumbs WAY up on these.